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The entry for "elder" is displayed below.
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
eld•er1 /ˈɛldɚ/USA pronunciation
adj. a compar. ofold witheldest as superl. [before a noun;WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
used only of people]
- of greater age;
older:my elder sister.
elder is both an adjective and a noun, and elderly is both an adjective and a noun:Listen to your elders. She is my elder sister. Elderly gentlemen met us at the door. These seats are all reserved for the elderly.
el•der2 /ˈɛldɚ/USA pronunciation
- an older person: a boy who respects his elders.
- Sociologyan older, influential member of a community.
- Religion(in certain Protestant churches) a person who is not a member of the clergy and is a governing officer, often assisting in services.
- Plant Biologya shrub or tree having divided leaves and clusters of small berries.
(el′dər), adj. [a compar. of]old witheldest as superl.
- of greater age;
- of higher rank;
senior:an elder officer.
- of or pertaining to former times; earlier:Much that was forbidden by elder custom is accepted today.
- a person who is older or higher in rank than oneself.
- an aged person.
- Anthropology, Sociologyan influential member of a tribe or community, often a chief or ruler;
- Religiona presbyter.
- Religion(in certain Protestant churches) a lay member who is a governing officer, often assisting the pastor in services.
- Religion[Mormon Ch.]a member of the Melchizedek priesthood.
1 . See older.
1 . younger.
Old English eldra, comparative of eald old
- Plant Biologyany tree or shrub belonging to the genus Sambucus, of the honeysuckle family, having pinnate leaves, clusters of white flowers, and red or black, berrylike fruit.
Middle English eldre, elrene, ellerne, Old English ellærn;
cognate with Middle Low German ellern
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
elder /ˈɛldə/ adj
- born earlier; senior
- (in piquet and similar card games) denoting or relating to the nondealer (the elder hand), who has certain advantages in the play
- archaic prior in rank, position, or office
- of a previous time; former
Etymology: Old English eldra, comparative of eald old; related to Old Norse ellri, Old High German altiro, Gothic althizaˈelderˌship n USAGE
- an older person; one's senior
- a senior member of a tribe who has influence or authority
- (in certain Protestant Churches) a lay office having teaching, pastoral, or administrative functions
- another word for presbyter
The word elder is being increasingly used, as a more respectful way of referring to older people: elder care, elder abuse
elder /ˈɛldə/ n
Etymology: Old English ellern; related to Old Norse elrir, Old High German erlīn, Old Slavonic jelǐcha, Latin alnus
- Also called: elderberry any of various caprifoliaceous shrubs or small trees of the genus Sambucus, having clusters of small white flowers and red, purple, or black berry-like fruits
Elder /ˈɛldə/ n
- Mark Philip. born 1947, British conductor; musical director of the English National Opera (1979–93) and of the Hallé Orchestra from 2000
'Elder Brother' also found in these entries: